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Feasibility of using patient-reported outcome measures with visually impaired children/young people attending paediatric ophthalmology clinics


Objective To explore feasibility of using child/young person patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) routinely in practice, using vision-specific instruments and paediatric ophthalmology as the exemplar.

Methods Participants comprised patients aged 8–17 years, with visual impairment or low vision (visual acuity of the logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (logMAR) worse than 0.3 in the better eye), attending the Department of Ophthalmology at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, UK. All participants completed age-appropriate PROMs before attending their outpatient appointment. Half were randomly assigned to completion at home, with the choice of paper-and-pencil or electronic format. The other half were invited to complete PROMs during their hospital appointment, and randomly assigned to completion format. All participants completed a face-to-face survey exploring their attitudes and preferences. Analysis comprised survival analysis, and direct comparisons of proportions, with complementary qualitative data analysis.

Results 93 patients participated. 48 (98%) completing PROMs at home chose the paper-and-pencil format. Completion at home took longer than at hospital (median=20, vs 14 min, p<0.001). Visual acuity was associated with completion time (p=0.007) and missing data (p=0.03). Overall, 52 (60%) reported a preference for completion at home but there was no clear preference for format (37 (43%) preferred either format).

Conclusion PROM completion at home ahead of hospital appointments may be preferable for collecting complete, high-quality datasets. Despite equipoise on preference for format, the majority of those completing at home chose the traditional paper-and-pencil format, despite impaired sight. These findings should inform implementation of child/young person PROMs into routine practice.

  • general paediatrics
  • measurement
  • ophthalmology
  • paediatric practice
  • patient perspective

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. Aggregated data are available on request to the corresponding author.

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